ND governor calls special session to address budget shortfall

North Dakota's governor is calling a special legislative session next month to deal with a budget shortfall.

Sharp declines in crude oil and farm crop prices have cut tax collections and left state revenues far short of expectations.

Earlier this year Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple cut agency budgets and used rainy day funds to cover a $1.1 billion shortfall.

The latest revenue projections show the state falling another $310 million short for the two-year budget cycle.

Dalrymple is still working out details of the special session with Republican lawmakers, who control the state House and Senate.

"I am pleased that there seems to be a good agreement on the overall approach, which is to pursue a combination of targeted budget reductions and contingency funds," he said.

Dalrymple wants to protect funding for K-12 education, human services and corrections.

He said the state's fix should be manageable.

"No one should get the impression that the state of North Dakota is in any way in a financial crisis," the governor told reporters at a capitol press conference. "It is still a very strong and promising economy for the state of North Dakota going forward."

The special legislative session will begin Aug. 2.

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